Covid lockdowns helped profits jump at international food giant Princes during its latest financial year.
Founded in 1880, initially trading solely in canned fish, the Liverpool-based company, Princes, has reported pre-tax profits of £45.2 million for the 12 months to March 31, 2021, up from £30.4 million.
The group, whose headquarters are the Royal Liver Building, has also posted a revenue of £1.558 billion for the year, up from £1.533 billion.
A statement signed off by the board said the increase in its turnover was “mainly due to the effect of Covid-19 on demand”.
The rise in pre-tax profits was also because of the pandemic, a positive sales mix and a non-recurring benefit relating to the sale of fixed assets.
The company added: “The directors aim to maintain policies which have resulted in the group’s growth in recent years and to invest in projects that will drive profitability.
“The directors have fully evaluated the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business; revised forecasts have been prepared and presented to the board with the initial impact being positive on the whole.”
“Although there are some switches in product sales mixes, demand for Princes products on the whole has significantly increased as a result of the lockdown measures put in place by government.”
“These lockdown measures have meant consumers have bought more and also consumed more at home.”
In 1989 Princes was taken over by Japanese giant Mitubishi, since then it has bought brands from Napolina to Aqua Pura.
In a separate statement, managing director Cameron Mackintosh said: “While spikes in demand during Covid-19 have naturally impacted results as we worked to feed the nation during lockdown, we also experienced significant increases in costs in our business to ensure continuity of supply and the safety of our colleagues.”
“It is also clear that the strategic plan we initiated four years ago to drive growth and respond to challenging market conditions is proving successful.”
“This approach, as well as shifts in eating and shopping habits, are continuing to stimulate reappraisal of ambient food, as consumers take a fresh look at the convenience, quality and affordability of the category.”
“Over the past year, we have progressed and concluded several landmark development programmes, accelerated our innovation plans to better meet consumer and customer needs, and made important progress in our sustainability and ethical trade agenda – all while adjusting our ways of working and responding effectively to the impacts of the pandemic and Brexit”.